Elon Musk Considers Charging New Twitter/X Users to Combat Bots

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Elon Musk proposes a “small fee” for new users on Twitter/X as a method to curb bot activity on the platform. This follows a trial in New Zealand and the Philippines, with Musk hinting at a possible global rollout to ensure the integrity of user interactions.

Elon Musk has suggested that new users on Twitter/X might soon have to pay a “small fee” to join the platform as a way to combat the prevalence of bots.

Since acquiring Twitter/X in 2022, Musk has frequently brought up the possibility of charging for platform usage. In a move that hinted at broader changes, the company started charging new users a nominal annual fee of one dollar in New Zealand and the Philippines as of October 2023.

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On April 15, 2024, chatter around this policy spiked on Twitter/X amid rumors that the fee might be extended to additional countries.

In response to the speculation, Musk stated that implementing a charge for new users is the “only way” to effectively fight bot activity. “Unfortunately, a small fee for new user write access is the only way to curb the relentless onslaught of bots. Current AI (and troll farms) can pass ‘are you a bot’ with ease,” he explained in a post.

Musk also noted that the proliferation of fake accounts was limiting the availability of desirable usernames, as “the onslaught of fake accounts also uses up the available namespace, so many good handles are taken as a result.”

However, Musk clarified in a follow-up post that after three months, users would have full, unpaid access to Twitter.

While Musk has not specified a timeline or confirmed definitively that this fee will be required for all new users globally, his comments indicate a clear interest in implementing such a measure across the board.

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